As I mentioned in my earlier post I'm trying to find ways to focus more on my blog and up my game when it comes to articles. As part of my research I came across a popular site called Bloglovin' where you can sign up and follow all your favourite blogs in one place. It's a handy tool for following multiple blogs, and if you're a fan of my stuff my site is also listed.
To celebrate my sign up with Bloglovin' I made a few buttons to share with anyone who wants them. Just right click the image you want from the list below and choose "save image as" and save it to your computer. They're all .png files which means they don't have a background, perfect if your blog is a different colour or pattern.
Just remember that these images are for personal use only, and are all my own artwork. Share with your friends, and if you want to you can leave me a comment with a link to your site so I can see them in action. Contact me if you have any questions. Enjoy!
more driftwood painting this week. I'm working up to some big ideas. For now I'm still practicing, so there are a lot of smaller paintings on single pieces of wood. This one turned out pretty good, I still need to work on technique and blending, but it's heading in a good direction. Every time I look at this it makes me hungry, so I guess that means I'm getting better! Next one will probably be lettering practice. so stay tuned!
I love how the grain looks in the painting, working on wood is so interesting, it makes an awesome effect. The big raspberry on the top is a little weird. I started with just blueberries and then decided it wasn't enough. But I think it's pretty good for a first try at fruit painting...
in an effort to jump start my creative flow again, today I threw myself into something new. After waking up at 7am thanks to the heat in our bedroom, I got into a little research that lead me to look at some awesome paintings on driftwood. They look so cool and fit nicely with the decor of our place, so i decided it'd be fun to give it a try. I was getting excited at the prospect of a new project, which to be honest hadn't happened in a while. With Pete still snoring away beside me I decided to take myself down to the beach and salvage some pieces that to practice on. If I liked it, I figured I can work up to a nice big piece to decorate our room with.
The beach was lovely this morning, quite a bit windier than last week, but still gorgeous and super hot even at an early hour. I grabbed some good pieces, but also had some nice quiet alone time, walking in the sand, climbing on the rocks and dipping my feet in the water. I love living so near to the ocean, there's just something so calming about it, and it's amazing for inspiration too.
I found some good starter pieces that were small and flat.
I've never really been much of a painter to be honest. People always assume when I tell them that I'm an illustrator that I must be able to paint too. Truth is, I never really took a decent painting class so I can't say that I'm all that good at it...
But that's the great thing about being creative, it doesn't have to be perfect as long as you're comfortable with the end result. This was a practice for me, and something to nudge me in the right direction. I'm pleased to say that I really enjoyed the process. Despite the pictures not being perfect, I do like how they turned out, and they look really nice up there on the shelf. I now have some unique pieces of art to brighten my living room, and a brand new sense of pride in myself. Recently I'd forgotten the importance of feeling good about the work I do, and this was a nice little project to remind me. I'm sure there'll be more of these popping up soon, now I've got the taste for it...
In mylast entry I talked about my resolutions for this year, and some tips I was using to make sure I follow them. I talked about making sure you have measurable goals, so that you feel like you're actually achieving something, which is actually working pretty well for me. Although I'm not hitting my target every single day, I'm doing it more than I thought I would, which is really saying something. In case I didn't mention it enough before, let me tell you again that I really am VERY lazy...
One way I've decided to combat this, is by making myself do three tasks a day. It sounds easy when you say it like that, but how many of us have written endless to-do lists on endless scraps of note paper and the back of receipts. I am in love with list making, but I never really seem to get to the actual ticking off stage. Which is why I had to buy designated books for each to-do list type in the end, but we'll get to that another day.
Three tasks a day is a really simple but effective way of feeling productive. Instead of trying to attack that whole list of seemingly endless tasks, I take them in bite size chunks. I started easy, with tiny things like:
1. Take the recycling down to the trash cans
2. Put my shoes away as soon as I take them off
3. Drink a glass of water every morning before leaving the house
Giving myself goals I could accomplish with ease made me feel like I was actually getting things done, and my days felt productive. So much so that I wanted to take it a little further, and challenge myself a little. I decided upon three areas of life that I would work on, and pick a task for each area every day. The three areas are creative, life and love. Each day I pick something for each of those headings, so that I have a broad range of achievable goals. Here are a few examples:
creative: This could be doing an illustration I've been meaning to get done, updating my website or social media pages, doing something craft related, even simply spending the time to think creatively, maybe work on my short stories for an hour or so.
life: This covers the basic stuff like chores, paying bills, calling the bank, making appointments, grocery shopping, decorating the apartment, things like that. Every day life stuff that I (mostly always) can ignore because it's boring and I don't want to do it.
love: Doing something for love is something we should all be doing anyway, but it can get forgotten about after a long hard day or if I'm really busy. So I always make sure that on my productive-don't-be-lazy-list there's something that involves connecting with family, socializing with friends, quality time with Pete or just doing something I love, because I love to do it.
This method is working really well, sometimes I've done all three before I leave for work in the morning, which leaves the rest of the day to enjoy as 'unproductive' time. A.k.a, whether I choose to spend it doing more things on the old list or relaxing with my feet up, I know that I've accomplished something, and can feel good about it. There's nothing worse than feeling guilty at the end of the day because you feel you haven't got enough done. This is a great way for us lazy folk to make that break into productivity.
So by now you're like 'why am I reading this crap, this isn't about batman at all!' I don't blame you for thinking that, I do tend to waffle on...
Today's creative task was to finally make the collage I've had planned since November, when the comic book store on Broadway closed. I took advantage of the super low prices and made off with a ton of 25¢ comics for reading and crafting.
I wanted to make some superhero collages to hang up around my desk, as it's looking pretty bare right now. Here's how I made the first one:
This one is super easy, all you need is a blank canvas, any size, some mod podge and a few old comic books. I used an 8" x 10" canvas because I wanted to use bat-poses from the same comic book. I specifically chose comics that had a lot of batman art in them. Before you buy have a quick flick through and make sure you've got a lot of material to work with.
I went through my comic and roughly cut out the best batmans. Once they were out of the comic book I went around them again right close to the edge of the image. Don't go throwing any pages away, as it's easier to start with large spreads. To begin with I covered the canvas in whole window images so there were no white spaces left.
It's really easy to place the larger images, as they're going to get covered up in the end it doesn't really matter how they're arranged.
Mod podge the back thoroughly and stick them in place. I used an old credit card to smooth them down and make sure there were no creases or air bubbles. Just be gentle, especially with older comics that use thinner paper.
Once the canvas is covered, it's up to you how you arrange your other pictures. I decided that I wanted to completely cover the whole thing with Batman, meaning no speech bubbles, narrative boxes or other characters where I could help it.
The best thing to do is start with the bigger images and work your way to small. If you have the patience and want to plan it all out before sticking you can, but I just went for it. I wanted to give it a random patchwork look , and it came out looking awesome. Either way, as long as you're using a variety of images, you can't go wrong.
The problem is knowing when to stop. I used the ENTIRE comic, every single image there was. It's kind of crowded but I love it, it's exactly the way I wanted it to look. Batman sure does read a lot of papers...
The way I went about it was to paint each Batman with mod podge one by one then smooth him down into place. I haven't put a final coat over the top because the paper from the old comics is really thin, and I didn't want to over saturate it and have the images from the other side bleed through. If you're using more modern comics though with the glossy paper, they should probably be fine. But I left mine, just to be safe. It still looks great regardless.
Iron Man will probably be next, followed by Captain America. A strange mix I know, but a little Marvel - DC crossover never hurt anyone...
my friend ricky drew this awesome picture for a friend of his. he brought it round last night and i helped him with some of the outer spots and with the outlining. i think it looks really cool, i love how the spots spread from the face, and the eyes are really awesome. i think the idea was to fill the spots on this one with neon colours...
this then paved the way for other similarly artistic ideas, and we decided to experiment with black card and tippex pens. the obvious choice for this project was zebras, so we had a practice round with smaller images. the next step is to do one big image, but white paint might be better for that, as the tippex pens run out quickly, and aren't as smooth. i didn't mind the texture and the messy quality, i kind of liked it. using the pens was fun too, but after a while you have to squeeze them pretty hard, and it begins to hurt you hands.
all you have to do is get some black paper or card and an image to copy or try. start with pencil and draw out the picture or pattern. a handy tip i figured out was to mark the spaces you'll be colouring in with the tippex as you go with pencil first. i just put a quick crosshatch in mine, so that i could distinguish the black areas from white.
then just go for it with a tippex pen, outline first and then fill in the spaces you marked out to be white. easy....
it turned out really cool. it's not perfect, but i like that quality about it. if i wanted it to be perfect i would have used paint...
we don't have a frame for it yet so it's just resting on my shelf, but when i get one from the thrift store i think i'll hang it in the bathroom, maybe with another one to match. i took a really nice photo of a zebra's face at the zoo when my mum came to visit, i'll give that a go and hang them together.
i love this project because it's an easy and cheap way to decorate, and you don't have to be a world class master with a paintbrush...
last summer i worked at an art studio for kids and taught a four day animation workshop with my buddy will. it's surprising what you can manage to get done with a bunch of over-excited kids in four days. most of the credit goes to will for being awesome at this sort of thing, but hey, i was there too. the real talent were those pesky kids though, they came up with some brilliant stuff...
recently gave painting a whirl, it's never really been something i've been into. i much prefer drawing but decided to try out my skills at an open art night recently. there were a few changes but i like how she turned out. lauren and i did pin-up paintings. i thought what better way to decorate my Vancouver home than with a hockey playing ginger all in blue...